SETH VAN DER LOO (Centurian) – Never write stuff you don’t master
"Never write stuff you don’t master" is only one of the advices Centurian drummer Seth van der Loo gives us in his version of The Blast Beast Series. He also tell us his biggest rolemodel is Nico McBrain, he hate homework and tha he know how to use his skills and don’t do stuff he can’t.
What is the force behind you being a drummer, that is, what keeps you going?
I love creating new music and using my skills to make the song come out the best possible way. Also I’m playing with a bunch of very talented guys who are also great friends.
You are playing in a genre where both technique and speed, together with groove, are important ingredients. What do you think is the most important of these?
How to use all of them so the song is not about the drummer but about the whole band and that song in particular.
Which drummer has inspired you the most throughout the years, and what would you have said to him/her if you had the chance to meet him/her in person?
Many drummers have inspired me in different phases of my carreer, but all over my biggest inspiration would be Nicko Mc Brain. He always plays with passion and puts his signature on his drums. He doesn’t over-do anything but is very talented at the same time. I would probably just thank him and the band for all their great records. I hope they will go on for a while, the last record was very strong and Nicko still kicks ass. Tight as hell and hard hitting while enjoying himself a lot obviously. I really hope to meet him one day.
Which is best while rehearsing alone: systematic progress or full improvisation?
For me improvisation. I like to be creative and hate "homework".
Do you have any "core rehearsal tips" that have given you a lot of progress in your drumming?
Never write stuff you don’t master, know what you can and can’t play. Reaching a certain speed is one thing, but playing a blast right with the right dynamics is something different. Also practise without triggers, learn acoustic drums and don’t start ultrafast when you just learn how to play. Start at the beginning.
What is important for you while rehearsing new songs/riffs with your band? Is there something in particular you do or listen for?
To have the same idea about a song as the rest of the band, so the song will come out the right way and becomes alive.
What is, in your opinion, the biggest challenges for extreme drummers (or, generally speaking, drummers), and what can you do to work them out?
To write good songs. That’s way more important than technique. The right beat at the right place.
Wrists or fingers? Heel up or down? Why?
Wrists and fingers, heels up. Why? Cause I hit harder that way and I can use my energy. Also it feels natural, I actually don’t really pay attention to it.
You must have rehearsed for an insane amount of hours to be as good a drummer as you are. Do you think it is worth it, and have you ever thought about quitting?
I rehearse about once a week, and of course have done my share of shows and tours. I’m not as good as the elite deathmetal drummers but I know how to use my skills and don’t do stuff I can’t. That’s why everything sounds controlled.
While playing at a concert: are you 100 % concentrated about what you are doing, or do you notice some of the mood and energy among the audience?
That depends on the gig, sometimes I can’t see the audience, but I can feel a vibe going on. Movement in the crowd gives me some extra energy usually.
Is it expensive to become a drummer, and what does it take outside all that can be bought for money to become a clever and good drummer in extreme metal?
It doesn’t have to be expensive. One can find good secondhand kits nowadays. I never took any form of lessons but used a tapedeck with headphones and played along with lots of music, so that was cheap as well. Most of the cleverness is in the mind. Creativity is a free thing for me.
And then some about your equipment:
Which snare drum and configuration do you like the best? 12", 13" or 14"? And which material? Wood, steel, brass or bronze?
I use a tama 14"brass snare now, that sounds killer. But I’ve heard killer snares in all types. It’s a personal choice. I could go for wood as well, just depends on the specific snare.
What kind of pedal(s) do you use? And which "settings" fits your style the best?
DW 5000. I use em the way they come out of the box. Oldschool.
As always, we are rounding off with you picking the next drummer in these series. Pick a drummer, and explain why he/she deserves (!) to be one of our Blast Beasts.
My choice is Koen Herfst (I-Chaos, Dew-Scented, Armin van Buuren). He is I think one of the most talented dutch drummers at the moment who can play different styles at a very high level.